Category Archives: Animal

Billy – original charcoal and pastel bluetit drawing

charcoal and pastel drawing of a bluetit

I am getting quite proficient with my camera now and despite walking and taking my camera with me, the best shots are always from the birds in my own garden.

This little fella comes to visit with his gang most days.  The feeding from the bird table and the feeders has increased greatly since the weather has got colder.  I recognise Billy from the slightly tufty hair on his head, he’s quite bold for a bluetit.

I made a little video of laying down the pastel on his head with a few conte sticks.  I love adding a shock of colour to my charcoal drawings but always try to keep it to a minimum

 

Billy is available to buy from my website shop.

Click here to follow the link

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Scout – original pastel drawing of grey squirrel

 

pastel drawing of a squirrel in autumn leaves in a park

I photographed this squirrel in Sheffield Botanical gardens.  Used to squirrels locally that shy away from the camera I was delighted to see how tame he was.  As I crouched down to get a good shot he just wandered over to say hello…

His eyes were full of curiosity, bright and cheerful – I loved him straight away.

I have completed him in pastels – soft, conte and finally pastel pencils on primed gatorboard.

Here is a little slideshow of some progress shots…

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Scout is available to buy from my website shop here or clicking on the framed image below..

Scout framed (20)_

3’s A Crowd – original pastel dog drawing commission

original pastel drawing of two jack russells and a beagle

3’s A Crowd

This was a tough commission.  The original drawing is 20 x 16″ on pastelmat.

When originally asked to do the commission I was presented with a photograph of the three dogs in this pose.  It’s taken by a professional pet photographer.  My initial reaction was to say that the photo was great and could not be improved upon with art.  However, the customer insisted that he wanted something bigger and completed in art.  Reluctantly I agreed, as most pet artists know a great photo can lead to a great piece because when the photography is so clear it makes my job a lot easier.

Decisions – I thought the best course of action was to focus on the dog’s faces and make everything else loose and impressionistic.  I figured that if I drew the bench and the trees and grass in great detail then it would detract away from the dogs themselves.

Here are my materials for the commission – Unison soft pastels (Emma Colbert set) stabilo carbothello pastel pencils, conte soft and hard pastels all on pastelmat.

 Here is a slideshow showing progress shots taken as I went along…

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The piece took just over 2 weeks to complete….

Christmas Drawings

During the last few weeks I have been working on commissions, attending art fairs and working on my new mini 8 x 8″ pencils studies from life.

Here is a collection of my recent work…..

graphite pencil drawing of a kitten

Lowra

This is Lowra, she has been drawn in graphite pencil, various grades from 9B to 6H.  Lots of blending to give her the softness.  You can click on the image or click here to find out more information about Lowra.


These small studies formed the beginnings of a new series ‘ Daily Sketches’.  They are all sized 8 x 8″ and come framed for £55.  They are completed in graphite pencil on Arches Watercolour paper.  They have proved popular with two of them selling fairly quickly.  By doing these small detailed sketches each morning it gives me an opportunity to keep my artist’s eye finely tuned before moving on to my larger commissioned piece for the rest of the day.  You can discover more about my daily sketches by visiting the page on my website here


Finally here is a collection of my commissions completed for Christmas…

The New Year has brought a wave of commissions, mostly for cricket and some pet portraits….Exciting times

Wicket keeper original charcoal commission

Wicket keeper original charcoal drawing

This week I am working on a commission, it is a surprise wedding anniversary present for the subjects husband (he doesn’t really use social media so we are ok for updates.)

This is drawn with Nitram charcoal on Canson Mi Teintes paper. The size is 16 x 12 inches.  Here are some progress drawings…..

 I have also produced some short videos to show actual drawing at speed..

The piece is not yet complete, its on hold whilst I await some more reference photographs.


Portrait Drawing

Back to portrait drawing from life on Friday morning, although this time there was limited time so I had to take photos and draw it in my studio.  I have been dying to do this one as it is a real challenge.  Steve has glasses and a beard, a double challenge for a portrait artist..

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I have begun work on this one which should be complete in the week.


New Pastel Cat Drawing

Itching to get back into colour I have selected this drawing of a cat that I’ve kept hold of for a while.  I’ve changed the cat from its traditional tortoiseshell to a play with colours.  I wanted to contrast the emerald eyes with sapphire ears.  Here’s a clip video of the progress….

The completed piece has proved to be very popular.  It is available in my website shop as well as a limited number of fine art prints…

Click here to go to its page or on the image below..

an original pastel drawing of a tortoiseshell cat completed in conte pastels on pastelmat with green emerald eyes

Emerald

That Greyhound Look – notes from the studio of a portrait artist

I finally finished my first oil portrait.  It took a lot of time and frustration.  There was countless times that I felt like launching the canvas across the studio, but I persevered and finally finished it….

oil painting of a dalmatian

That Dalmatian Look #1

There’s about a million things wrong with it.  Its far too clumpy and there’s too many textured brush strokes in the face, I wanted it to be very smooth and precise in the face area and quite loose everywhere else.  However, it’s a good likeness and I really love the background which I now understand really well.

The current trend seems to be painting outside, my art magazines and instagram feed is full of it.  So I decided to take my easel outside – not far, just into my garden.  Intending to paint in one sitting I was interrupted and had to carry on the next day, fortunately the weather was fine for both days.  Below are some snaps of the progress….

It’s far too dark really and by the time I had finished it I was completely bored with it.  It’s not the oil paints that are the problem.  If I wanted to draw or paint trees and plants I would have done it before with my pastels.  It’s just doesn’t inspire me I suppose.  I tend to love all the subject matters that I draw and get excited about the prospect of transforming it into a piece of art.  If I didn’t have this I would have given up a long time ago.  The next step obviously will be to do an oil painted portrait.  I’ve been dying to do it for a while…..watch this space.


My next drawing is another greyhound, this time however it’s a long haired greyhound.  The new bits are that I am completing it on pastelmat which is a first for me.  It was recommended and I can see why, it’s a great surface as it holds the pastel really well and is thicker and probably longer lasting.  The negatives are that the pastel does not blend well at all, there is more blending as you layer on the pastel but literally none at the beginning.  The other negative is that you can’t erase very well. I usually need to move things around a bit at first until I am happy with the proportions so that was quite tricky when I needed to move the eyes up a bit. ..

Here I’m finally happy with the proportions and I am beginning to work down the face, I’m using just one shade of pastel – a mid grey.  The other new thing is that this is a bigger size for me, its 50 x 40cm which is the next size up.

Working on blending and laying down the fur detail I am working down the face.  It’s great to see him come to life on the board and as I am going I am beginning to enjoy the pastelmat surface which holds the pastel well and therefore hold the colour well.

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I have purchased some gouache paint in order to add the brightest white highlights.   I must admit to being terrified of applying it.  When I pluck up the courage I’ll post up the results.  After much searching on the internet as well as conversations with other artists I managed to pluck up the courage to put on some pastel colour and to use the gouache.  The gouache feels like liquid chalk so it works well with the pastel.  I’m pretty chuffed with the results, it has added another dimension to my work.  It has also made me realise that pastels are beautiful to use, particularly the wonderful colours they have.  More to come…..

Here is the finished piece.  I have decided to call him Chief as he reminds me of an Indian chief.  He is now framed and ready to purchase.  Take a closer look at him on my website shop by clicking here or clicking on the finished image below…

original pastel drawing of a long haired greyhound grey with brown eyes by Cheshire pet artist

Chief


My current piece is a cricket commission which unfortunately I can’t share with you at this time.  After it’s been presented I’ll showcase it.

There have been no sales this week so far 😦 however I am working on commissions so there is still plenty of art being created.

That Pug Look – original pug pencil drawing & other notes from the studio

After promising to give myself the day off on Monday following my art fair I ended up working to complete a pencil pug drawing that I started at the fair.  It’s great to draw when you’re at an art fair, customers love to see you working and talk about techniques.

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Here’s a sneaky photo that I took at the fair, I loved it and hope to paint it one day..


So ‘That Pug Look’ was completed on Wednesday, he is only 6 x 6″ wide and framed in a 7×7″ frame.  If you’re interested in purchasing him or viewing my other artwork and commissions click here to follow the link to my website or click on the finished drawing of That Pug Look.

 

framed pencil graphite drawing of a pug dog by cheshire based pet artist

That Pug Look


Before I get on with my next commission I am carrying on with trialling oil painting.  This time I have chosen a composition that I feel I can work with better.  Being a shorter haired dog , a dalmatian means I can focus on the tones rather than the fine fur detail.  The photo is by kind permission of someone from Dalmatians UK facebook page.

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The pose is perfect and the light is being cast from above to the right.  The only tricky thing is the constant whites.